2012 Year End Review
2012 was a banner year for me and my family…health, wealth, and plenty of happiness. Below is a review of event/accomplishments from 2012 and goals for 2013.
Me and the wifey made a pact at the end of 2011…in 2012 we were going to focus and invest in lifestyle changes that we felt would reduce stress and increase happiness/pleasure. From that perspective, 2012 was a great success. Below is a list of events (in no particular order) that I think had the most beneficial impact on my life in 2012:
- Altered my diet
After a series of convincing documentaries and articles…my wife and I decided to start eating a pescatarian diet. We are also buying organic produce when available. I still cheat a few times a month, but my red meat consumption is WAY down and I’m eating a lot more fruits and veges.
- Stopped following politics
This stuff had become a great source of stress and negativity in my life…and while I’d already cut it out of my daily reading routine back in 2011, I followed through this year and deleted all relevant feeds from my google-reader list – out of sight out of mind. I have mixed feelings about returning to “camp-apathetic”…but for now, I’m quite content with having explored a few political ideologies and starting to develop my own life-philosophy.
- Exercised regularly
Finally got back into running…although I’m taking it super slow this time in order to avoid injury. I’d totally forgotten the amazing post-run-endorphin-rush…sooooooo good!
- Lots of live music
This year we attended 3 music festivals (Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Catalpa) in addition to a handful of live shows. Black Keys, David Byrne, My Morning Jacket, Galactic, Girl Talk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Phish, Fun, Delta Spirit, Foster the People, Jack White, TV On The Radio, M83…I’m sure there were more, but that’s all I can remember 😉
- Stopped doing chores
We got a maid (in late 2011)…the positive impact on our marriage and free time easily offsets the cost…its not even close!
- Organized our finances
We finally sat down with a good friend (who happens to be a financial-jedi) and organized our savings and investment portfolio for short, medium, and long term goals. It really is a nice relief to have a plan and not just dumping money into a 401k/IRA without much regard to time horizon, diversification, etc. We now have a nice spreadsheet that we update each quarter and re-balance if necessary.
- Made more money
I love my job and would do it for (nearly) free…getting a promotion (and raise) is icing on the cake.
My wife continues to be a driving force in my life and wears many hats: therapist, life coach, executive VP of communications (inside joke)…all in addition to her own career! Because of her help in managing the life-side of the work-life balance equation, I’ve had the opportunity to aggressively pursue my own passion/career. Here’s a list, because I’m OCD like that…
- Read a lot of books
- Passed a few exams
- 70-433 SQL Server 2008: Database Development
- 70-461 Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
- 70-463 Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
- Delivered some presentations
- Building Tabular Models in SQL Server Analysis Services 2012 (internal training for BI practice group)
- Business Intelligence Portal Discovery Seminar Series
- SQL Azure Reporting (delivered to Atlanta.MDF)
- SharePoint BI Tools (GR8 Atlanta Sharepoint Conference)
- Led a proof-of-concept demo on SQL Server 2012 focusing on DQS/MDS from an enterprise information management perspective.
- Attended a few conferences and user group meetings
- SQL Saturday #111 – always a great event and this year I was pleasantly surprised with the number of sessions I had time to sit in on in addition to the volunteer work.
- Atlanta BI – I wasn’t able to attend as many meetings this year as I did in 2011, but plan to return and even present at least once or twice in 2013 once travel dies down at the end of January.
- Atlanta MDF – this is a user group for SQL Server DBAs and Developers. I only attended one meeting this year – to deliver a mini-presentation on SQL Azure Reporting. It would be nice to be able to attend regularly, but its way the hell up in Alpharetta …rush hour on a weekday, no thanks!
- GR8 Atlanta Sharepoint Conference
- Started a Blog
In addition to the above, my utilization was over 100% which means I made my employer a pile of money and provided my clients with a pile of value.
Goals for 2013
Given how well 2012 worked out, I don’t plan on changing much. Instead there will be just a few tweaks and enhancements…
- Join a yoga studio and attend 2 sessions / week
- Juice regularly
this should be much easier now that I won’t be traveling every week.
- Extend vitamin/supplement routine
I don’t have all the details yet, but my wife is already on top of this and I’m basically going to adopt her vitamin/supplement routine (MultiV, Fishoil, Vitamin B12, ALAs, calcium, etc)
- Plan Thailand trip for early 2014
This was originally on the radar for 2013, but life got in the way and we had to push it off a year. We have a few friends who moved there a few years ago in order to continue their online-poker careers and we hope they are still living there by the time we head over.
- Travel less…much less
Last year was brutal…traveling nearly every week for the last 6-7 months…way more than I anticipated or ever want to do again.
- Obtain the MCSE Business Intelligence certification (3 exams left)
- Deliver 4 presentations to SQL Server user groups
I’m really starting to enjoy presenting and have found it to be a great way to network.
- Read more books…(no particular order)
- SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning
- Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
- Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model
- Applied Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services: Tabular Modeling
- MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services: Cookbook
- <insert book on DAX>
- Disciplined Agile Delivery
- “Big Data”
I find the architecture and design very interesting, but I want to primarily focus on how can the major big-data-technologies (ex. Hadoop, HBase, Hive, Casandra, Neo4j) can be leveraged in BI solutions. Being a Microsoft guy, I plan on starting with HD Insight and branching out from there.
- Continue Blogging
- Attend more Conferences
- Microsoft Business Analytics Ranger Conference (Jan 21-25, Microsoft partners only)
- SQL Saturday Atlanta (not scheduled yet)
- Would love to attend a TechEd/PASS/PASS Summit but will have to convince employer
- Find a Mentor
This is one that’s been on my todo list, but now I feel I’m at a point where having a good mentor could have a major impact on my career over the next 5 years. I have a few people in mind but need to prioritize the list and approach these folks until one of them agrees.
I hope 2012 was as satisfying and fruitful for you as well – cheers!